A container shipping company bridges the gap between you, the customer and the complex world of international container shipping. A good container shipping company will handle every facet of your shipment. If you are sending your household goods overseas, you don't even have to go near a port. In fact, you can have your belongings waiting for you in your new home if you want to. This is what to expect from the container shipping company you choose.
You will have a lot of questions when you first approach a container shipping company. Naturally, cost will be one of them. If you are going to be shipping household goods, first make a list of all the goods you will be shipping. Container freight companies can give fairly accurate container shipping estimates just from the size of your apartment or house, but it's a good idea to have an itemized list ready, because you will need it both for the final quote and for the Shipping Order (S/O). In order to give you a reasonably accurate initial estimate, the container shipping company will also need to know your approximate dates of departure and arrival will be, where you will be shipping your personal goods to and whether or not you will require storage facilities. They also need to know if you have any special needs. Fragile goods, for instance, are more expensive to ship than ordinary dry goods.
Once your container shipping company knows how large a container you are going to need and where it is going, they will be able to give you an initial estimate. Then you will have a lot of other options to choose from. Do you want them to handle everything for you? If so, that's no problem. On the designated day, they will send experienced staff to your home to pack everything into boxes and load them into your container for you. If you want to save money, you can do these things yourself. They can even send a truck with your container on it and drop the container off at your door. On a pre-arranged day a few days later, the driver will return and take your filled container to the container port or to a nearby warehouse, where it will wait until the day of shipping.
Your shipping order is the most important piece of paper you will get. Copies of the S/O are given to the shipping vessel's captain and faxed to the destination port. Your container shipping company will keep a copy and also give one to you. With this single document, your container can always be traced. A couple of days before he reaches the destination port, the ship's captain will call the port authorities and together they will go over all the Shipping Orders that will be processed at the port. Then, dock workers will be given a list of all containers and they will be removed from the vessel and stored appropriately. Your container shipping company will be kept abreast of all that happens with S/Os they have processed, too. This adds an extra measure of security to the process.
In a nutshell, what a container shipping company does is make sure your household goods reach their destination. Their livelihood depends on their reliability, so rest assured - they will treat your personal goods as if they were their own.